It has been only a couple of weeks into my first ever semester of college, and right off the bat, I felt mentally drained. I was not prepared, after a long break of five months, to go back to school.
Usually, on a typical (pre-COVID) day, I would wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, brush my teeth, and drive to school. Though, this is not the norm anymore, and I, along with most class of 2020 high school graduates, are feeling discombobulated.
SO, to change this, I made significant changes to my daily routine! Before, between, and after my online classes, I incorporated 12 (and counting) self-care habits that will keep me SANE throughout the rest of the semester and until classes are back in person, fingers crossed.
1. Eating a Healthy Breakfast
This is a morning staple that many of us probably already do in the morning, but it's a nice reminder to HAVE BREAKFAST. I try to eat a well-balanced breakfast every day, and some of my go-to's are overnight oats with sliced bananas and a drizzle of Nutella, eggs, or a muffin.
2. Drinking Water
Every morning before my first class of the day, I go to my kitchen and fill up a large mug of water. Staying hydrated throughout the day is 1) very good for the body, and 2) in the long run, brightens your skin. Stay hydrated and drink a couple of mugs of water throughout the day, and you'll for sure feel a difference!
Whenever I'm not listening in on a lecture, I love to have my favorite Spotify playlists humming in the background. It's nice to have another voice in the room, rather than listening to my own all day. Listening to music gets me pumped up to do work and keeps me energized.
If you aren't already, why not change into a cute outfit every day for school! A cute statement top and some comfy bottoms to do school in are all you need. Whether I have a Zoom meeting or not, I try to wear something other than pajamas. I also love to do my hair and maybe do some light makeup, if I'm feeling fancy.
5. Lunchtime with Friends
Whether it's the TV show "Friends," or FaceTime with my friends, I give myself an hour of complete happiness, aka eating. Without thinking about work or school, I sometimes give my friends a call and have a virtual lunch break! Or I turn on Netflix and hit play on "Friends" or another show that I'm binge-ing.
6. Stretches & Meditation
This isn't an everyday self-care habit, but when I have time, I enjoy watching Blogilates on Youtube for great and relaxing yoga and Janet Wang's meditation videos to keep my zen! Giving yourself at least ten minutes, once a week, to stretch out your limbs truly helps lift some weight off your shoulders. Stretching and meditating does wonders for me physically, but most importantly, mentally.
Another habit that I've been keeping up with is journaling. I use an app called DiveThru that gives journal prompts and breathing exercises depending on my mood for that day. I write for as long as I want, and by the end, I feel way better. It's as simple as that. Writing clears my mind and I hope it does for you too!
Books are always great to grab and sit down with. Pair it with a cup of coffee or tea, take it with you outside, and read on your porch, in your backyard, or by a window. I find that reading in places that are naturally lit make my day and mood better. Soaking in that vitamin D, rather than staring at a screen for most-the-time is a great change of scenery and easy on the eyes.
9. BlueLight Glasses
And speaking of, staring at screens almost every day, is damaging to the eyes. To take care of our eyes, BlueLight glasses are the way to go! But thorough research will have to be done to find legit and long-lasting glasses. If anything, you can check your eyes at your closest eye clinic. I, for one, have an appointment soon, and prescription glasses do the same job just as well!
10. Online Shopping
It's never bad to treat yourself now and then with some new stuff! Self-care is both healthy habits and treating yourself. I, too, have done some damage to my bank account, but shopping is always a nice thing to look forward to at the end of a long week. Reward yourself, you've earned it!
Self-care isn't complete without skincare! I love to use some sort of skincare moisturizer or face mask―specifically the ones that rejuvenate my skin to make my face and spirit brighter...it really shows!
12. Naps & Sleep
Getting the proper amount of sleep is very important. I savor my sleep and take catnaps whenever I can, but I set alarms to make sure I stay on schedule. Although, it's good to finish your work before taking a snooze, but right after, feel free to jump right into bed!
There's only so much that you can do to make your school and home environment a positive and welcoming one. I can relate, first-hand, that it's a hard transition, but we're all in this together. I could go on with more self-care habits that I do during school, but I'll stop here for now. Self-care is important and I'm not going to let my non-traditional online semester get in the way of what matters most to me!